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Development of a motorized rice de-stoning machine

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John Ojediran Alake Adewumi Samuel



Clinton Okonkwo Abiodun Okunola

Landmark University Landmark University


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202 January, 2018 AgricEngInt: CIGR Journal Open access at http://www.cigrjournal.org Vol. 20, No. 4

Development of a motorized rice de-stoning machine

Ojediran, John Olusegun*, Okonkwo Clinton Emeka, Okunola Abiodun Afolabi,

Alake Adewumi Samuel
(Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Kwara State, Nigeria)

Abstract: A motorized rice de-stoning machine was locally developed for separating stone pebbles from milled rice. Major
component being the reciprocating screen coupled with the blower and the hopper. The stone separation is achieved by
vertical oscillation of the reciprocating screen coupled with a suction – like air produced by the blower directly beneath the
screen causing rice – mixture to float just above the screen and the stones are sucked up the reciprocating screen then
discharged through the stone chute and the clean rice collected in opposite order. The de-stoning machine was designed to be
powered by a high speed (2980 r min-1) 0.746 kW electric motor. It was evaluated for its efficiencies in terms of rice
separation and de-stoning, the tray loss and impurity level after separation were also evaluated. The highest de-stoning
efficiency was recorded between 5 to 7 mm feed gates as 99.75% and the lowest was recorded at a feed gate of 20 mm as 82.5%.
The highest rice separation efficiency was recorded at 5 mm feed gate to be 98.89% and the lowest of 93.33% was at 20 mm.
The highest values of impurity level and tray loss were recorded at 20 mm as 2.041% and 6.67% respectively, while the lowest
values were recorded at 5 mm as 0.028% and 1.11% respectively. The capacity also increased as the feed gate increase. All
results showed a high correlation with feed gate.
Keywords: rice, de-stoning, blower, eccentric mechanism, pneumaticblower

Citation: Ojediran, J.O., C.E. Okonkwo, A.A. Okunola, and A.S. Alake. 2018. Development of a motorized rice de-stoning
machine. Agricultural Engineering International: CIGR Journal, 20(4): 202–209.

consumed in various forms across localities but most

1 Introduction
popularly as boiled grains (Gbabo et al., 2015). Similarly,
The production and consumption of rice has been on a in West Africa, Nigeria is the largest producer of rice
significant increase due to its adaptability in various with an annual average of 3.2 million tons of paddy rice
traditional food recipe, bread and alcoholic drinks resulting in about 2 million tons of processed rice. Rice
(Dagninet et al., 2015). consumption in Nigeria has risen to over 10% per annum
An approximate 5 billion people consume rice causing changes to consumer’s preferences (Ajala and
globally on a regular basis (FAO, 2011; and Prakash et al., Gana, 2015). Production however is largely done by
2014). The rate of rice consumption differs in countries small-scale farmers operating an average 1 to 2 hectares
and continents (Cho et al., 2017). Rice which is mainly of land and where yield per hectare is relatively low due
being cultivated for human consumption, still have over to several reasons among which are poor production
40% (signifying 2.75 million per year), imported to West systems, lack of basic trainings, aging farming population,
Africa (Azouma et al., 2009). However, well over 90% of low level of competition between local and imported rice
globalrice production is from tropical and semi-tropical etc (Onu et al., 2015).
climate especially in Asia. An estimated 120 million There exists a huge gap of about 2 million metric tons
Nigerian depend on rice as a staple food where it is annually and this has largely continued to encourage huge
rice importation (This Day, 2009; Ayanwale and Amusan,
Received date: 2018-02-26 Accepted date: 2018-06-11
2012). The reasons for this identified gap include among
*Corresponding author: Ojediran, J. O. Department of
Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Landmark University, others poor production methods, unavailability and high
Omu-Aran, Kwara State, Nigeria. Email: ojediran.john@lmu.edu.ng. cost of farm inputs, low pace of technology adoption,
January, 2018 Development of a motorized rice de-stoning machine Vol. 20, No. 4 203

post-harvest wastage, poor processing methods, and cognizance the pneumatic properties of milled rice
inefficiency in milling, poor marketing strategies, (terminal velocity) (Figures 1 and 2). Shape and size,
polishing and low-quality packaging and low/sub- angle of repose were the physical properties of rice taken
standard mechanization on rice farms which has led to the into consideration while machine properties considered
over-reliance on manual labour for farm operations were the configuration of the screen used and the angle of
(International Rice Research Institute, IRRI, 2010). inclination of the screen housing. The reciprocating
Nigeria therefore has huge potential to increase her screen housing the blower was inclined at an angle of 10o
domestic rice production and marketing with the high in order to aid inward flow of grain across the screen by
hopes of becoming a self-sufficient rice producer as this gravity. The stones were separated by the direction of air
will equally impact positively on the nation’s economy by blast and the reciprocating screen in the reverse direction
affecting all the key players and stakeholders (Paddy to the clean rice grain.
farmers and traders, rice millers and processors,
transporters, citizens, government and exporters).
However, the major challenge in Nigerian rice industry is
poor processing which allows contaminants such as stone
pebbles, sticks and chaff to be introduced during
harvesting and post-harvest handling. For this problem to
be solved, the use of durable and sustainable machines
must be engaged so as to enhance the quality of rice
being produced (Gbabo et al., 2015; Mohammed et al.,
2017). Pneumatic method has been used to clean threshed
rice paddy by air lifting light, chaffy and dusty materials
out of the paddy, with material other than paddy which
Figure 1 A 3–dimensional view of the motorized rice de-stoner
are of the same weight with the paddy being separated by
reciprocating screen (Aderinlewo and Raji, 2014; and
Buggenhout et al., 2013). Reciprocating sieves are known
to eliminate materials other than paddy which is the same
weight with the paddy, since they have the same
aerodynamic characteristics with rice paddy. However, it
has been advocated that for Agricultural mechanization to
be readily adopted in Nigeria, machines must be
indigenously designed, developed and constructed to
ensure their adaptability to our soils, crops and the local
farmers who are the end-users (Adejuyigbe and Bolaji,
2012). The aim of this research therefore was to carry out
the design, construction and performance evaluation of a
motorized rice de-stoning machine. When it has been
successfully tested in Landmark University rice
processing unit, it is hoped to be largely adopted as a sure
way to improve rice processing in Nigeria and beyond.

2 Materials and method

2.1 Design of the rice de-stoner
A motorized rice de-stoner was designed taking into Figure 2 Pictorial view of the motorized rice de-stoner
204 January, 2018 AgricEngInt: CIGR Journal Open access at http://www.cigrjournal.org Vol. 20, No. 4

Figure 3 Orthographic views of the designed rice de-stoner

2.2 Design analysis where, V is the capacity of the screen in m3; L is the
The design analysis was carried out with a view to length of the screen in m; B is the breadth of the screen in
evaluate the necessary design parameters, pneumatic m; H is the depth of the screen in m.
properties, screen configuration, strength of the materials 2.5 Determination of the weight of de-stoning unit
for consideration in the selection of the various rice The weight of the de-stoning unit was determined to
de-stoner components in order for it to perform efficiently establish the amount of load being exerted on the
and to avoid failure during the required working life of eccentric shaft by the de-stoning unit and its content.
the machine. Hence the weight of the cleaning unit is expressed as;
2.3 Determination of the hopper capacity W = mg (3)
The hopper used was pyramidal in shape with a semi m = ρv (4)
– circular feed discharge gate which can be regulated to where, W is the weight of the de-stoning unit (blower and
give time for efficient de-stoning of the mass coming into screen component) and its content, N; m is the mass of
the de-stoning unit. the de-stoning unit and its content, kg; g is the
1 acceleration due to gravity, m s-2; ρ is the density of
Volume of the pyramidal section= × base area × height
3 de-stoning unit, kg m-3; v is the volume of the de-stoning
(1) unit, m3.
where, Base area in m2, Height, m; Volume of the 2.6 Power requirement
pyramidal section, m . In selecting power of the motor needed to drive the
The capacity of the hopper was 25 kg. rice de-stoner, the sum total of the various power needed
2.4 Determination of the screen capacity to drive the pneumatic mechanism(blower) and the
In order to ascertain the capacity of the machine, the reciprocating unit in a pendulum motion was taken into
screen capacity is a paramount requirement needed in cognizance (Gbabo et al., 2015).
designing other components of the machine. The speed and the sizes of the pulley were deduced
V = LBH (2) from the formula below;
January, 2018 Development of a motorized rice de-stoning machine Vol. 20, No. 4 205

NMDM = NVDV (5) G is the torsional modulus of elasticity, Nm-2; d is the

where, NM is the revolution of the motor, r min-1, which is shaft diameter of the eccentric mechanism or the blower,
1400 r min ; DM is the diameter of the motor pulley, m; m.
which is 0.09 m; NV is the revolution of the eccentric 2.10 Design of centrifugal blower
shaft, or the revolution of the blower shaft, r min ; which The blower must be capable of providing the required
is 630 and 1400 r min respectively; DV is the diameter of air velocity necessary for the separation of the rice-stone
the eccentric shaft pulley, or the blower shaft pulley, m; mixture. Air velocity was calculated using the continuity
which was 0.2 and 0.09 m respectively. equation. The flow rate was 0.8 m3 s-1.
Power required is expressed as; Q = AV (11)
P = Tw (6) where, A is the area of the blade and V is the actual
where, P is the power required which was 746 W; T is the velocity of air produced from the blower taking
torque, Nm; w is the angular velocity which is taken as consideration of the terminal velocity of rice.
2πN in rad s-1; where N is the revolution of the driven 2.11 Determination of amplitude and frequency of
pulley in r min-1. vibration
The power was calculated to be 0.746 kW. According to Olugboji and Jiya (2014) for a system of
2.7 Determination of twisting moment force vibration with a single degree of freedom, the
T = F× r (7) amplitude is given as:
where, F is the force transmitted by the prime mover, N; F
Y= K
r is the perpendicular distance, m. (12)
ω 2 2 ω
2.8 Determination of the eccentric shaft and the ((1 − ( ) ) + (2ε ( )2 )0.5
wn wn
blower shaft
where, F is the magnitude of excitation, N; K is the
This was determined to ascertain the eccentric shaft
stiffness of spring, Nm-1; ε is the coefficient of damping,
size and the blower shaft size that would withstand the
Nsm-1; ω is the frequency of excitation force, which is
load applied with twisting. It was determined using the
Khurmi and Gupta (2007) relationships; expressed as = , rad s-1; wn is the natural frequency
D3=16(KmM + Te) πbd (8) of vibration (rad s-1) of the rice de-stoner, which is
expressed as;
Te = ( K m M ) + ( K t T )
2 2
(9) k
wn = (13)
where, D is the diameter of either the eccentric shaft or m
the blower shaft, m; Km combined shock and fatigue m is the mass of the system, kg; f is the frequency of
factor of bending, 1.5; M is maximum bending moment, vibration (Hz), expressed as;
Nm; Te is the equivalent twisting moment, Nm; bd is ω
f = (14)
maximum bending stress, Nm ; Kt Combined shock and 2π
fatigue factor of torsion, 1.0. 2.12 Machine description
2.9 Determination of the shaft angle of twist The machine comprises of the following components:
This enabled us to know of the shaft diameter we used machine frame, centrifugal blower, hopper, reciprocating
for the eccentric mechanism and the blower was safe. It screen unit, driving and driven assembly and a discharge
was determined using the formula below; (Gbabo et al., outlet.
2015). 2.12.1 Machine frame
584M t l The machine frame of the rice de-stoner was made up
θ= (10)
Gd 4 of metal iron of one and the half inch which holds the
where, θ is the angle of twist of the shaft in degrees; Mt is main machine components such as the hopper, centrifugal
the twisting moment, Nm; l is the length of the shaft, m; blower, screen casing, prime mover in a position and
206 January, 2018 AgricEngInt: CIGR Journal Open access at http://www.cigrjournal.org Vol. 20, No. 4

stabilizes the machine during operation. 2.14 Performance evaluation of motorized rice
2.12.2 Centrifugal blower de-stoner
The direction of air intake of a centrifugal fan is The motorized rice de-stoner comprises of two
parallel to its axis of rotation, while its discharge is functional units: the blower unit and the reciprocating
perpendicular to the axis of rotation. Centrifugal fans was screen unit. The blower unit is responsible for the
used in producing the require air flow needed for separation of light impurities from the milled rice fed in
separating the stones from the rice grain. through the hopper and also in the de-stoning operation
2.12.3 Hopper while the reciprocating mechanism is responsible for
The hopper is trapezoidal in shape. It forms the providing the necessary agitation needed for de-stoning
feeding chute through which the rice – stone mixture is operation. The performance of the motorized rice
fed, it has a feed gate at the base to regulate the discharge de-stoner was evaluated in order to establish its efficiency,
into the de-stoning unit. capacity and effectiveness. There were two (2) collection
2.12.4 Screen casing points for the test materials.
The reciprocating screen casing arrangement consists 2.14.1 Determination of capacity of motorized rice
of four reciprocating arms. At the extreme, slightly grader
beneath the reciprocating screen casing is a cam The capacity of the machine was evaluated as the
connection (eccentric mechanism) which energizes the quantity of milled rice the machine was able to de-stone
reciprocating screen in a pendulum motion. The size of within a recorded time. Two kilograms of the milled rice
the screen aperture was based on the least equivalent was introduced into the machine while the time for the
thickness of rice grain sample evaluated. de-stoning operation was recorded. It was calculated
2.12.5 Driving and driven assembly using Equation (15), Fadele and Aremu (2016)
A three (3) phase electric motor of 1hp with its pulley Q
C= (15)
and eccentric shaft pulley as well as a blower pulley was T
used. The electric motor, eccentric shaft and the blower where, C is the capacity of machine in kg s-1; Q is the
where connected by a V – belt. quantity of milled rice introduced through the hopper in
2.12.6 Discharge outlets kg; T is the time required for operation in seconds.
The machine consists of two discharge outlet 2.14.2 Determination of the de-stoning efficiency (DE)
openings which contain the de-stoned rice and the stone The efficiency of the de-stoner was calculated using
in the reverse order. the formula as suggested by (Gbabo et al., 2015).
2.13 Operation of machine M scr
DE = (1 − ) (16)
M sm
The motorized rice de-stoner machine was designed
to remove stones from rice. A 0.746 kW electric motor where, DE is the de-stoning efficiency, %; Mscr is the
provides power to the reciprocating mechanism alongside mass of the stone in the clean rice after separation, g; Msm
the centrifugal blower through an arrangement of pulleys is the initial mass of the stone in the mixture, g.
and belt. The reciprocating mechanism oscillates in a 2.14.3 Determination of the rice separation efficiency
pendulum motion with the aid of an eccentric drive. The (RSE)
milled rice - stone mixture discharges from the hopper This is the percentage ratio of the mass of clean rice
through the feed gate by gravity where the lighter to the rice in the mixture before separation (Gbabo et al.,
impurities are blown off via the cushion of air coming 2015).
from the blower since the milled rice grain terminal M cr
RSE = × 100 (17)
velocity is higher than that of the light impurities. The M rm

milled rice is collected on the rice outlet while the stone where, Mcr is the mass of the clean rice, g; Mrm is the
is collected in the stone outlet. mass of rice in the mixture before separation.
January, 2018 Development of a motorized rice de-stoning machine Vol. 20, No. 4 207

2.14.4 Impurity level after separation (IML) dry method to be 11%. It was mixed with stones in a ratio
This is the percentage ratio of mass of stone in the of 80% whole rice to 20% stones.
clean rice to the sum of the mass of clean rice and the 2.16 Experimental design
mass of stone in the rice (Gbabo et al., 2015). Performance evaluation of the designed motorized
M scr rice de-stoning machine was carried out using the
IM L = (18)
M cr + M scr complete randomized design with three replicates at each
where, IML is the impurity level after separation, %. feed gate opening level. Twenty kilograms of milled rice
2.14.5 Tray loss (TL) were carefully weighed for each test and the results of
This is the quantity of rice which was not recovered in mean values are presented in Table 1.

the process (Gbabo et al., 2015). 3 Results and discussion

M cr
TL = 1 − (19) 3.1 Performance of the designed rice de-stoning
M rm
2.15 Sample preparation The motorized rice de-stoning machine was evaluated
Milled rice sample was collected from Landmark based on the relationship of the feed regulator at the same
University Teaching and Research Farm. The initial moisture content and feed with the various efficiencies
moisture content wet basis was determined using the oven (Table 1).
Table 1 Performance of the designed rice de-stoning machine under different feed gate opening levels
S/N TIME (s) FEED (kg) Feed gate (mm) DE% RSE% IML% C (kg s-1) TL%

1 680 20 5 99.75 98.89 0.028 0.029 1.11

2 560 20 7 99.75 98.61 0.028 0.036 1.39
3 450 20 10 97 96.67 0.344 0.044 3.33
4 250 20 15 95 94.44 0.588 0.08 5.56
5 200 20 20 82.5 93.33 2.041 0.1 6.67

3.1.1 Effects of feed gate opening on the capacity of the

designed rice de-stoning machine
As shown in Figure 4, variation of the feed gate
regulator to the capacity is highly correlated and
polynomial. As the feed gate opening on the hopper was
increased, it was noticed that the capacity being handled
per second was also increasing, because more grain is
being released to the de-stoning chamber. The minimum
capacity was 0.029 kg s-1 and the maximum been
Figure 4 Effects of feed gate opening on the capacity of the
0.1 kg s-1.
designed rice de-stoning machine
3.1.2 Effect of feed gate opening on the efficiency of
designed rice de-stoning machine
The de-stoning efficiency and feed gate opening is
highly correlated and polynomial (Figure 5). The
de-stoning efficiency was highest (99.75%) at a feed gate
range of 5 to 7 mm, while the feed gate of 20 mm gave
the lowest efficiency of 82.5%. From the graph it was
noticed that as the feed gate increased, the de-stoning
efficiency decreases and vice versa. This could be due to
the fact that the de-stoning chamber can properly sort by Figure 5 Effect of feed gate opening on the efficiency of designed
gravity at a specific volume of rice per time. rice de-stoning machine
208 January, 2018 AgricEngInt: CIGR Journal Open access at http://www.cigrjournal.org Vol. 20, No. 4

3.1.3 Effect of feed gate opening on the rice separation 3.1.5 Effects of feed gate opening on tray loss
efficiency It was observed that the relationship between the tray
From the graph it was observed that the relationship loss and the feed gate is polynomial and highly correlated
between the rice separation efficiency to the feed gate is (Figure 8). As the feed gate is increased the amount of
polynomial and highly correlated (Figure 6). As the feed clean rice loss was also increasing. This could be because
gate was increased, the rice separation efficiency reduced. some of the clean rice tends to move up with the stones,
The lowest efficiency of 93.33% was recorded at a high while some rolled over to the ground since the screen is at
feed gate opening. This could be because as more rice an angle.
was released, the clean rice tends to move up with the
stone for it to be discharged through the stone outlet; the
hopper would be releasing more volumes than that it can
handle since it is a gravity sorter.

Figure 8 Effect of the feed gate opening on tray loss

4 Conclusion
The following are some specific conclusions made
from the work:
Figure 6 Effect of feed gate opening on the rice separation
1. The de-stoning efficiency decreased with increase
in the feed gate opening.
3.1.4 Effect of feed gate opening on impurity levels
2. The rice separation efficiency decreased with
after separation
increase in the feed gate opening.
The graphical relationship between the impurity level
3. The impurity level increased with increase in the
to the feed gate is highly correlated and polynomial
feed gate opening.
(Figure 7). It is observed that as the feed gate is increased,
4. The tray loss also increased with increase in the
the impurity level is also increasing and vice versa. This
feed gate opening.
could be because the rice – stone mixture has not been
5. Feed gate opening of 5 mm showed the lowest tray
properly sorted out, due to the fact that the de-stoning
loss, impurity level and capacity of 1.11%, 0.028%,
chamber was fed more than what it can handle per time
0.029 kg s-1 respectively, but has the highest de-stoning
being a gravity sorter.
efficiency and rice separation efficiency of 99.75% and
98.89% respectively.

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